Encyclopedia of Wireless Networks

Living Edition
| Editors: Xuemin (Sherman) Shen, Xiaodong Lin, Kuan Zhang

Oligopoly Pricing in Wireless Networks

  • Carlee Joe-WongEmail author
  • Liang Zheng
  • Jiasi Chen
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-32903-1_26-1



An oligopoly refers to a market in which only a few (typically two to four) companies compete with each other to offer a resource or service to users. Such market structures typically arise in industries that are difficult for companies to enter, e.g., due to government regulations or the need for significant initial investment. In wireless networks, oligopolies can be found in markets for wireless connectivity, i.e., selling users access to wireless networks. In the cellular connectivity market, for instance, cellular providers generally need government spectrum licenses to operate, and significant investment is needed to build out a cellular network. Since spectrum is limited and rarely auctioned off, new providers may find it hard to obtain spectrum access and break into the market. In the USA today, this market is dominated by Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile.

Historical Background

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Electrical and Computer EngineeringCarnegie Mellon University, Silicon Valley CampusMoffett FieldUSA
  2. 2.Princeton UniversityPrincetonUSA
  3. 3.University of CaliforniaRiversideUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Jianwei Huang
    • 1
  • Yuan Luo
  1. 1.Department of Information EngineeringThe Chinese University of Hong Kong, StainHong KongChina